Field Guide to the Birds of the Western Great Basin

The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is the Department of Defense environmental science and technology program. SERDP invests in basic and applied research and advanced development.

Since 2012, SERDP-supported researchers have worked to develop methods for assessment of species richness and occupancy across space, time, taxonomic groups, and ecoregions. In one of these ecoregions, the western Great Basin, the researchers surveyed birds at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Hawthorne Army Depot, and other locations on the east slope of the Sierra Nevada and in the Wassuk Range (Mono County, California and Mineral County, Nevada). On the basis of their data and observations and the existing ornithological literature, Frank Fogarty and Erica Fleishman (University of California, Davis) compiled the attached field guide and natural history of the breeding birds on the western edge of the Great Basin. The guide includes photographs of each species and short descriptions of each species’ distribution, status and trend, habitat associations, and responses to human activity. The guide also explains how to identify each species by sight and sound, and how to differentiate it from other species in the region.

Click here to learn more about SERDP efforts around developing and demonstrating the science, models, methods, and technologies associated with species management.